Ohio State runs out of gas, falls short of revenge against Minnesota

Nick Schilkey and Ohio State fell short against Minnesota (photo: Jim Rosvold).

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Ohio State came up a goal short in its previous four games against Minnesota, losing 3-2 in overtime, 5-4 in OT, 5-4 in OT and 4-3.

After playing for nearly 80 minutes Thursday night, they got another opportunity. But all that quarterfinal mileage took a toll in a 4-2 loss to the Gophers on Friday in the Big Ten tournament semifinal.

Big Ten tournament

See the tournament bracket and get links to schedules and stories at Big Ten Playoff Central.

“I think our guys maybe emptied the tank and we ran out of gas a little early tonight,” said Buckeyes coach Steve Rohlik.

Despite Kevin Miller’s first-period goal, Ohio State never was able to take control of the game and Minnesota overcame some early jitters to score four consecutive third-period goals. Most of those goals came off forced turnovers by the Gophers and quick transitions.

“Their transition game killed us, obviously, tonight and killed us a couple times on line rushes,” said Nick Schilkey. “All year I think that was a focus of us coming into tonight, but there were a couple times there — a couple pick-pockets. They were right down our throats just like that. We played ’em close all year; tough to lose to them five times in one-goal games, overtime games, but I guess that’s how it happens sometimes.”

Rohlik said he was proud of the way his team committed to putting in the work this season after starting 0-7, but noted Minnesota is good enough to convert if any team turns the puck over like Ohio State did in the third period.

“Minnesota has a very good hockey team; they’re one game away and they’ve got a chance,” said Rohlik. “They won the Big Ten league for a reason because they won a lot of these close games. We just fell a little short against them this year.”

Ohio State says goodbye to three seniors — Anthony Greco, Tyler Lundey and Craig Dalrymple — but returns much of a team that carried an eight-game unbeaten streak into Friday’s semifinal.

“I think for us the goal is to make the tournament, and we showed this second half that we can be a tournament team,” Schilkey said. “If we start off the year a little better we’re right there — we showed that we can play with anybody.”

“We’ve got a good nucleus coming back. We’ve got an ability to score and score in bunches and score with depth. That was a key coming down the stretch here. To have that group coming back is definitely exciting.”

Rohlik admits bias in fondness for Xcel

Being a St. Paul native and familiar with the hockey community means Ohio State’s head coach knows he’s a little biased when weighing the future of the Big Ten tournament.

The 5,423 announced attendance for the semifinals was better than the previous night’s 4,283, but still leaves many pondering what’s next.

“I’m a little biased, but I think it’s an unbelievable venue,” said Rohlik. “I think things take time. I think the Big Ten tournament can be a pretty big deal. Obviously, being here in St. Paul and this hockey community and growing up here, I know what this thing could be.”

The coach noted it’s exciting for his guys to come back to the rink we’re they’re treated right and said that it’s just going to take more time to be the success hockey fans are longing for each March.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Big hometown game……maybe 5k in the stands? Fair weather fans! Funny all the goof fans gave the tourney crap last year at the joe because of attendance. I couldn’t tell yesterday if it was in mn or mich. All I saw were empty seats.

      • Maybe it was tickets sold. Article says announced attendance, so one could only think that was the number of tickets scanned. Definitely looked empty on tv. But I didnt watch much of the game because the big joke network has 100% succeeded in finding the worst commentators on the planet.

        • Attendance is tickets sold–scanned ticket info will almost always be identified as such because it usually takes a FOIA request to get it.

    • Big hometown game against Ohio State? Yawn…… Too bad your Fighting Hawks weren’t up to task against UMD. So much for the #1 overall seed in the tourney.

      • So the farthest they can drop is #3 overall…..must suck sitting there knowing that a loss and the season is over. Must also suck that Goof U hasnt been “up to the task” against UMD in the what? last 6 or 7 times? So much for “powerhouse.”

      • And if you knew anything about hockey, you’d know overall number 1 is still up for grabs between UND, QU, and SCSU. But I wouldnt expect you to know anything, seeing as you are a goof fan.

        • Hope you enjoy the trip to Cincinnati. If your team would have taken care of business, they would have been the #1 overall seed in St Paul.

          • have to win no matter where you play….so what does it matter? Our fans will still show up, unlike SCSU fans that it will be difficult to make the 80 mile drive. Remember 2010 at the X? I’m sure you don’t cause MN missed that year as well.

      • Who’s complaining about a loss? I dont see where I said anything about UND losing. At the end of the day, we are still a number 1 seed.

  2. Think the crap 6 commish will tell Mich to lay down in tonights game so the crap conference will look better by having two teams in? The fix is in!

  3. Highlight reel plays on the Assist by Sheehey on goal 4, and Bristedt on goal 2. And can we stop the pissing contest between the B1G, and the NCHC? To me the situations are nothing alike. The B1G is taking a risk trying something new that will take some time to evolve. The NCHC hit the easy button.

    • It’s not taking on a risk, it was forced, if what everyone says is true. By-laws. But they could have changed by-laws before all of this. Either way, it happened. And I’ll admit, they did have some pretty goals yesterday.

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